There are female experts in the political science field, but based on the current representation of experts in academia and the media, it might not always be apparent.
The Media Matters for America organization found that only 1 in 4 experts on national security and foreign affairs commentators on primetime cable are female, while Princeton University found that articles authored by female political scientists account for only 9.62 percent of all citations in international relations literature. And an analysis of every article from the past election cycle from the New York Times found that of the 182 political scientists referenced, 80 percent were male.
“Part of what’s going on is that people tend to have a set of networks, and their networks are perhaps based on who they read in graduate school or with whom they went to graduate school or have been colleagues,” said Layna Mosley, a UNC professor of political science. “Given that women have not been as well-represented in academia as men, then those networks often are largely male.”
Implicit biases may also influence the inclusion of women in citations and interviews.
“I think it’s just indicative of broader societal factors, thinking that men are more experienced and know more than women,” said UNC political science Ph.D. student Caroline Lancaster. “When people think of an expert, they think of a man.”